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Ice Luminaries

Two buckets, water, candles, and evergreen clippings are all you need to create outdoor luminaries that glow and glisten.

Luminary made from ice.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Painter’s tape or duct tape


  • 5-quart container, #206701
  • 1-quart container, #40008

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

Clip enough short lengths of fresh evergreen branches for the number of luminaries you’ll make. Then fill the 5-quart container about three-quarters full with water.

Step 2

Stick tape to the top of the 1-quart container.

Tear two strips of tape long enough to extend over the top of the 5-quart container and down the sides. Center the 1-quart container along the length of one piece of tape and press the tape against the top edge.

Step 3

Tape the small container inside the larger one.

Place the 1-quart container centered in the 5-quart container with the top edges flush. Tape it in place and add the other tape strip perpendicular to the first one.

Good to Know

If necessary, add weight (not water) to the small container to help hold it down.

Step 4

Add water to the 5-quart container.

Add water to the 5-quart container as needed to make the luminary deeper.

Step 5

Add greenery to the luminary.

Arrange greenery or your choice of decorative items such as berries, citrus fruit slices, small pine cones, or holly inside the 5-quart container. Then place the container in a freezer or outside until the water freezes.

Step 6

Add candles to the luminary.

Remove the tape and pull the 1-quart container free. Remove the ice luminary from the 5-quart container. Add votive candles or LED electric candles (if the luminaries will be safe from thawing).

Good to Know

If you plan to use votive candles, make sure luminaries will remain frozen and the flames won’t reach items placed within the water before it freezes.